Hibriten's graduating class one for the record books

Jun. 13, 2014 @ 03:23 PM

The gym at Hibriten High School was packed shoulder to shoulder Thursday night, hundreds of people anxiously chatting and awaiting the start of the school’s 48th annual commencement.

But the voices fell silent as the familiar tune of “Pomp and Circumstance” rang out, and the senior class began filing in to cheers and a flash of photographs. The tops of caps were decorated with glittery “Class of 2014” and “We did it,” and the logos and colors of universities where the students will continue their studies.

This year’s senior class was one for the record books: Hibriten’s class of 2014 finished with the highest overall graduation rate of any class to go through Hibriten, and one of the highest in the history of Caldwell County.

The pride was evident on the faces in the crowd and heard in the heartfelt words of the teachers and administrators.

Senior class president Garrett Greene was the first graduating senior to address his classmates, telling in an elevated voice of the class gift, a spirit rock placed outside the freshman academy to challenge the next class of the “12th Man Nation” to “raise it!”

Hannah Bryant challenged her fellow graduates to consider advice from fictional Chicago high school student Ferris Bueller of the movie “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off,” who said that life moves pretty fast, and if you don’t stop and look around, you may miss it.

But she finished with a quote by Mother Theresa, challenging the class of 2014 to “do it anyway,” to try their hardest, and succeed.

Benjamin Dacus also challenged his classmates, as they sat in their gym for the last time as students, to let their actions speak louder than their words and to overcome obstacles placed in their way with optimism and character.

“If we let obstacles break us,” he said, “How can we call ourselves Panthers?”